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Several tourists looted at gunpoint in Swat in region’s third such incident in less than a week; Swat in trouble

Approximately 20 tourists were looted at gunpoint in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swat on Monday.

This happened days after two tourist coaches were robbed in separate incidents in the province as per the local Police.

A police official told Dawn.com that the robbery took place in Swat’s Bahrain area. “Around 20 tourists from Lahore were traveling to Kalam in a coaster when they were stopped by motorcyclists,” he said, adding that the armed men then entered the coaster and looted the tourists.

The robbers managed to escape with Rs400,000 in cash and nine smartphones, the official said.

After the robbery was reported, police reached the area and started an investigation, he further shared.

Such incidents have become significantly common in the Malakand division in less than a week. On August 6, about 40 tourists were looted by armed men in two separate incidents in the Kharkanai area of Lower Dir and Thana Bypass Road in Malakand.

Noticing the worsening situation, the KP chief minister removed the district police officer in Lower Dir and the Malakand deputy commissioner.

So far, police have failed to arrest the people behind the tourists’ robbery incidents.

The region witnessed a major boom in tourism in the past few years with hundreds of tourists coming in from all over the world despite the looming threat of COVID-19. According to figures released by the KP Tourism Department last month, tourists spent Rs133 billion in the province during the Eid-ul-Azha holidays.

“This means in Eid — four days average — Rs27.5bn has gone into economy of local areas (Galiyat, Kumrat, Chitral, Kaghan and Swat),” the department said.

Zainab Umer
Written By

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